Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Rhododendron x alterclerense ‘Govenianum’

A cultivar of Rhododendron x alterclerense Lindl. ‘This hybrid was raised in the collection of the Earl of Caernarvon at Highclere by J. R. Gowen from seed of “A. nudiflora or A. viscosa … fertilised with the pollen of a hybrid Rhododendron between R. ponticum and R. cataubiense.”  The leaves are evergreen or scarcely deciduous, elliptic-oblong or lanceolate-oblong, pubescent on both sides when young, glabrous above and glossy when old.  The flowers are light purple, rather small, with a comparatively long and narrow tube.  From the illustration it is impossible to judge whether R. nudiflorum or R. viscosum is one of the parents.’ [Wilson and Rehder p.189]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

For details see Rhododendron x alterclerense Lindl. and other references to the Highclere hybrids.  

History at Camden Park

Desideratum to Loddiges’ Nursery on 16th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.147].  Listed in the 1836 edition of Loddiges’ Nursery catalogue, a copy of which is held at Camden Park [CPA], as Azalea hybridae altaclerensae govenia. I have found no other record of this plant and it may not have been received.  But Macarthur had mixed fortunes with plants received from Loddiges’ and elsewhere at this time and many were dead on arrival.  Some of these are listed in a subsequent letter but it is possible that others arrived alive and were planted in the gardens although never listed in the catalogues.


Published Jun 18, 2009 - 01:12 PM | Last updated Sep 09, 2011 - 02:11 PM

Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

  • Rhododendron nudiflorum Torr. var. Govenianum G.Don
  • Rhododendron nudiflorum Torr. x (cataubense x ponticum) Sweet
  • Azalea hybridae altaclerensae govenia [Lodd.] 


Common Name

Azalea, Highclere hybrids

Name in the Camden Park Record

Azalea Goveniana 


Confidence level high